Community Programs

Night of 1,000 Fireflies:
A Night Hike

Postponed: New Date is TBD

Come and enjoy the magic of the midsummer night at the Nature Center. Join our Naturalists as we search for woodland creatures (wiggly worms & aquatic amphibians) and other enchanted mysteries of the evening, before delighting in the awe-inspiring beauty of our meadows aglow with the soft light of 1,000+ fireflies!

Great American
Campout

Postponed: Tentatively August 8-9 

In honor of Great American Campout Day, which takes place on June 22, take the pledge to camp in your very own backyard. Then join us here at the New Canaan Nature Center later this summer (date is set tentatively for August 8-9) for an evening full of fun and adventure by camping out in New Canaan’s favorite backyard!

Enjoy a classic camping-style barbecue dinner, field games on the Green, night hike, campfire complete with s’mores, and more! In the morning, awake to fog over the meadow, deer browsing nearby and the promise of another magical day! A light breakfast of bagels, juice, and coffee will also be served.

Creatures of the Night…
Hike!

August 8

This year’s Creatures of the Night Hike has been cancelled. Please join us for our Great American Campout, instead! 

How do your nighttime senses compare to those of the nocturnal animals that call NCNC home? Join us for an interactive sensory night hike adventure and try your hand at our naturalist-led challenges to find out! First, we’ll put your night vision to the test to discover if you can see as well as an owl in the dark. Then we’ll focus on your sense of smell, hearing, and touch! We’ll wrap up the night with one of our favorite summer activities… roasting marshmallows around the campfire!

Program will also include the opportunity to meet a couple of the nature center’s nocturnal animal ambassadors up close and personal.

*This event is rain or shine.*

Cider
Saturday

September 12

Celebrate the fall cider season here at NCNC! Come and enjoy an early autumn afternoon of family fun with cider press demonstrations, apple slingshots (on the top of every hour), a bounce house, old-fashioned games, a pumpkin scavenger hunt, seasonal harvest crafts for kids, baked apples, and corn bread on a stick. Fill your bellies with delicious corn dogs, grilled corn, fresh cider, and baked goodies, all available for purchase.

Halloween
Spooktacular

October 30

Get into the Halloween spirit by joining us for this spooktacular celebration, NCNC-style. Learn about and meet some fiendish friends who remind us of All Hallows Eve (spiders, snakes, owls, & more), enjoy making some creepy crafts (including your very own slime), and share spooky stories around a cackling (erm, we mean crackling) campfire! Top off the evening with our one-of-a-kind jack-o-lantern experience and you will be destined to have a dreadfully wicked evening!

Costumes encouraged & welcome!

Awesome
Autumn Day

November 3

Vote for Nature on Election Day! Come on over to NCNC to enjoy a beautiful autumn day with your kids and the NCNC naturalists. Frolic in the leaves and take part in field games, such as pumpkin ring toss, corn hole, and parachute games, anytime from 1-3pm. Naturalists will also be leading autumn-themed relay races (like pumpkin broom ball) across the Green! At 1:30 and 2:30, get up close and  personal with several of our awesome animal ambassadors.

Thanksgiving
Weekend Waddle

November 28

Grab the entire family (and any lingering holiday visitors too!) and head on down to the New Canaan Nature Center! Join the NCNC Naturalists for a healthy, invigorating Trail Trek to work off that holiday meal. While “waddling” the trails, we’ll search for some of nature’s most treasured gifts and learn why the end of autumn may not be quite as quiet as you may think. As an extra Thanksgiving bonus, after our hike, you’ll also get to enjoy a behind the scenes tour of our Animal Care facilities & Birds of Prey Exhibit – our way of saying “thank you” to the community.

Winter
Wonderland

December 12

Come and be transported into a whole new world as the New Canaan Nature Center transforms into a Winter Wonderland filled with fun and exciting winter holiday activities for the entire family. We hope you will join us to enjoy the warm festive feel the Nature Center puts on this time of year!

Holiday
Break Programs

December 21-23

Perfect for children, ages 3-5! Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of wintry adventures throughout our 40-acre preserve and celebrate the holiday season in true NCNC fashion as nature intended.

Owl Moon
Night Hike

 January 2021

Let the light of the FULL moon be your guide as we explore magic in the woods and unravel the mysteries of our nocturnal neighbors, the owls. We’ll discover how owls use their keen senses to navigate the night and learn first-hand how they can hunt in the dark. We’ll even “give a hoot” and see if we can identify owls by their tell-tale calls, before getting to meet a couple owls up close & personal.

Adopt-a-Tree:
Community Syruping Program

January 2021

Adopt a maple tree for the season! Learn about and participate weekly in the entire syrup making process, from tapping a maple tree to sap collections and boil downs. You’ll even get your very own bottle of NCNC-made maple syrup at our end of season pot-luck dinner in March.

Winter
Break Programs

February 2021

Out of school and looking for some wintry fun in the great outdoors? Come down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff lead a variety of winter-themed adventures throughout the 40-acre expanse of NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

Syrup Saturday:
A Pancakes & PJs Party

March 2021

Bring the whole family and join us for our annual end of syrup season celebration – you won’t want to miss our famously delicious Pancakes & PJs party, complete with TONS of fun syrup-related activities! We’ll be serving up flapjacks, syrup, and an array of tasty toppings in the Visitor Center, while leading tree tapping demos, a real maple sap “boil down,” campfire with marshmallows, and a real v. fake syrup taste test.

The Great Egg Hunt &
Spring Celebration

April 2021

Perfect for children, ages 2-10, our egg hunts are designed for smaller groups (approximately 25 per hunt) and, in addition to the hunt, include an egg & spoon obstacle course and meet & greet with our baby chicks & bunny rabbits. Just BYOB (bring your own basket) for collecting eggs (which contain nature-themed prizes and nut-free sweets).

Spring Fling
Break Programs

April 2021

Calling all children, ages 3-7! Out of school and looking for some spring fun and adventure? Come on down the hill and join other enthusiastic kids as our expert staff guide you on a variety of seasonal adventures throughout the 40-acres of forests, fields, and ponds at NCNC. Partake in nature games, crafts & activities!

Sounds of Spring
Night Hike

April 2021

Come explore the magic of spring and Earth Week with us! We’ll visit the Nature Center’s vernal pools and ponds to listen for the peeps and croaks of frogs and other amphibians that let us know spring has fully arrived! We’ll also journey through the woods and into the meadows in search of some awesome invertebrates, birds, and bats. If we’re super lucky, we might even get a chance to spot a critter or two! Join our Naturalists for this fun, interactive and earth aware hike to learn why these species are so important to our local ecosystem.

Community Garden:
Adopt-a-Plot

May 2021

“Adopt” a plot in our community garden for the growing season (May-November)! Our community garden provides a shared space in which local residents can tend a plot of land, learn together, and share in an appreciation of the outdoors and gardening. Each garden plot is located within a fenced-in area near the Herb Garden and all participants will have access to tools, watering facilities, and community guidance. The perfect opportunity for novices and experienced gardeners, alike!

Connecticut Trails
Day Weekend

June 2021

Celebrate Connecticut Trails Day Weekend here at the New Canaan Nature Center!

Earth Day
Celebration

April 22

Come celebrate Earth Day with us on April 22nd! An annual world-wide event, join us to learn what you can do locally to help protect the environment.